Indicates whether the accused entered a plea agreement with the prosecutor in exchange for a reduced penalty, or provided information or assistance to the authorities during the investigation or prosecution.
Refers to circumstances that reduce the defendant’s responsibility or moral culpability for the crime, such as acting under duress or coercion, or because it was necessary to prevent greater harm.
Refers to the evidence or arguments presented by both the prosecution and the defence that may affect the sentence. For example, evidence of the defendant’s previous bad acts or mitigating factors such as mental illness or addiction.
Refers to the accused’s military or public service or other achievements that may be relevant to sentencing him or her.
Refers to specific laws, policies and precedents in the jurisdiction where the offence was committed that may affect sentencing, such as mandatory minimums, sentencing guidelines or prevailing community views on punishment.
The extent to which the defendant has cooperated with law enforcement and other authorities in the investigation and prosecution of his own case may be a factor in sentencing. Cooperation can demonstrate acceptance of responsibility and may be considered by the court as a mitigating factor.
The age of the defendant and any physical or mental health problems may be relevant to the court in determining an appropriate sentence, for example, an older defendant or one with a serious health problem may be sentenced more leniently.
Sentencing may be harsher than that of accomplices or people who played minor roles.
The financial resources and ability of the accused to pay fines or other financial penalties may be considered in determining an appropriate sentence. The court may consider the ability of the accused to pay compensation to the victims and/or fines to the State.
Sentencing may be influenced by the aim of deterring the accused and others from committing similar offences in the future. A severe sentence may act as a deterrent, while a more lenient sentence may not have the same effect.
Public safety and protection is a key consideration in sentencing A defendant who poses a significant threat to public safety may be sentenced more severely to ensure he cannot commit further offences.
The defendant’s potential for rehabilitation, or ability to be successfully treated or trained not to reoffend, may be considered in determining an appropriate sentence. A defendant who appears likely to be successfully rehabilitated may be sentenced more leniently.
A court is required to follow sentencing guidelines and mandatory minimums established by state or federal law, but has some discretion to do so.
Statutory aggravating circumstances are elements of the crime or defendant’s conduct that increase the severity of the sentence, while mitigating circumstances are elements that decrease the severity of the sentence.
The views of the community and the judiciary as to the appropriate punishment for a particular offence may be a factor in determining a sentence Public opinion and the views of the judge or sentencing panel may influence the perceived severity of a particular sentence.
The extent to which the accused assisted law enforcement or other authorities in investigating or prosecuting the crime may be taken into account as a sentencing factor.
The defendant’s age, mental and physical health may be relevant to sentencing because these factors may affect the defendant’s ability to understand the consequences of their actions and potential for rehabilitation.
The role of the defendant in the commission of the offence may also be taken into account. Those who played a leading or more active role often receive a more severe sentence.
This factor refers to the specific details and events surrounding the crime committed, including the method used and any extenuating or attenuating circumstances.
This factor considers the defendant’s previous criminal record, including any previous convictions, as well as the defendant’s previous sentencing history.
This factor considers the overall history of the accused, including education, employment, family circumstances and any history of drug or alcohol abuse.
This factor considers the defendant’s expression of remorse for the crime committed, including any apologies or expressions of regret.
This factor assesses the physical, emotional and financial damage suffered by the victim/s as a result of the crime and how the crime has affected their lives.